Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day (Technically)


Books are always one of those sneaky wake up calls for me. They look all unassuming sitting on the shelf, then you open them up and BAM it's like God wrote you a really long letter and stuck the finished, bound product in your hand since you weren't really listening to all those subtle voice mails he left on your Univer-soul answering machine.

Up until today I hadn't read the famous book The Prophet by Khalil Gibran. I'd heard the author's name, but thought maybe he was a basketball player for the Lakers? How did I manage to miss this in all my spiritual reading? I'll have to chalk it up to "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear." I really liked the chapters on love and relationships. Lots of good verses that make you think in there.

Another book I recently started reading is Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I first saw it while cruising through our intranet at work (as if cruising Barnes & Noble doesn't cost me enough, but at work I can get Penguin books for half price). I had it on my list, but many other necessities came before it. I saw it again a couple times at B&N, but I didn't want to pay full price for it so I waited. Mark bought it for me while I was in Texas, so that rocked. It's a good read too. Very parallel to some things in my life right now (minus the mental breakdown), and full of stories of her travel (which I intend to have in my future!).


We were in LA/Hollywood last week for a trade show, but stayed a few days extra for vacation as well. What a blast! Kinda took the sting out of some not so warm and fuzzy stuff that happened just before we left.

We saw the Walk of Fame, Chinese Theater, Universal Studios (tour, movie, and CityWalk), Pig & Whistle, LA Ink, Hollywood & Highland mall, took the requisite touristy pics of the Hollywood sign (I would've loved to hike up there if you're allowed, but didn't get around to it), saw Bushwalla live (and in concert) at The Mint, Santa Monica pier (a little lame except for the sunset pictures), local color at Venice Beach (fucking rocked), Rodeo Drive,

drove all the way to the top of the hill up Pacific Drive in Glendale, got a little nervous while driving through Almost East LA (we didn't know), Science Center (the only totally lame thing we ran across, but Mark says we're just spoiled by the museums in NYC)... we did it all.

Well, not all. We did not take any "celebrity home tours," nor did we make it to Warner Bros studio tour (which I hear is better than Universal); we didn't get to go to any vintage shops (there were so many too!), and we never made it up to the Griffith Park Observatory. It's all good though - gives me a reason to go back. I can't believe how much we packed in as it was. Mark even got to visit with a friend he knew when he lived in CA just after high school.

We stayed at the Celebrity Hotel on Orchid, which was charmingly vintage in a glamorous 50s kind of way. I love that it had a kitchenette. I immediately sought out the nearest Whole Foods (there were two! And a Trader Joe's! Score!) and ended up buying more than we could eat during our stay. I hope the front desk guy really did offer the rest to someone who would use it. I hate wasting food. There was a Starbucks in walking distance too.

We both agreed we could totally see some famous movie star overdosing in the bathroom of this place, and the cops busting in to find them lying on the floor in a coma. (Something about black and white checkered bathroom floors with bright yellow walls makes me think that... go figure.)

We had a really good time. Mark was disappointed with the amazing smog that was hanging over LA though. It made photos a challenge sometimes, and I didn't like thinking about breathing it (how does anyone living there escape lung cancer?!), but I've heard the stories, so I guess I kind of expected it. I didn't want to think too hard about what that meant to the environment because I really wanted (and needed) to be happy on this trip. I saved all our plastics in a bag hoping the maids would recycle them. It doesn't make up for much, but I didn't want to contribute to the ickiness either.

We took a red eye back on Sunday night, arriving at JFK at 5am Monday morning. (Yes, we are apparently INSANE.) It was weird watching the sun set over LA, hopping a plane, then watching it rise over NYC only a few hours later. (Shortest. Night. Ever.) After manipulating baggage and driving home through Manhattan's OverAchiever Rush Hour (6:30-7:30 am) I was just getting home at the time I should've jumped in the shower to go to work. And here I had the misconception that somewhere in there I was going to get a couple hours of sleep. HA. I called and told them I'd be late and they were very cool about it.

We're going to San Diego in the Spring. Mark wants to see what a west coast city is like sans smog, and of course that's really where I intend to live eventually. We're even going to check out apartments and such while we're there.

So today is Valentine's Day (well, in California it still is) and we went to see the movie Definitely Maybe with Ryan Reynolds as our date. It was really cute. It's a chick flick, but I love those. (My Cinderella complex totally eats that shit up.) Even though I can barely look at Reynolds without seeing Van Wilder, he did a good job of playing Average Guy Without A Clue That Finally Comes Around, also known as Every Woman's Improbable Wet Dream. Mark says I'm like the character April, the cool chick with red hair that drinks tea and doesn't like politics and reads lots of books. Those characters are usually the ones I like best in movies like that. I guess minus the international travel, that is very like me. (Although in the movies these chicks always work in awesome coffee shops and bookstores - I'd like to know how they pay rent in NYC working minimum wage jobs?! I don't think you could live in a closet in NYC for minimum wage! Or maybe they just don't eat - like ever. That would explain the skinny ones.) I hope someday I can get my finances back in order and remove the "minus" before that travel thing. I think I'd go to London first, then Scotland, and I'd have to hit Ireland since I'm already on the island. India, Morocco, and Greece are also on my list. Maybe Rome, and I'd like to see Venice but I hear it really smells. (Which makes me think "Listen! Do you smell something?") Tuscan countryside definitely, and the south of France would be cool. And Hawaii... I'd love to experience that. (Nothing romantic about any of those places, right? What can I say. Maybe I should just run away to Hollywood and be an actress so I can play all those parts and get it over with.)

Speaking of old 80s movies, we saw a preview for a new Indiana Jones and awesomely, Harrison Ford is still going to play the part. How fucking cool is that? I am so stoked. IMDB says it comes out in October. Katy's really into the two National Treasure movies lately and I keep saying "We need to watch Indiana Jones - they were even better." We borrowed the DVDs from a friend, but haven't got to it yet. I hope they're timeless films that are still as funny as they were back then. I haven't seen them in forever. It's disappointing when you go back and watch a film you remember as being so funny and awesome, but the jokes are stale because you don't remember the references that were part of the pop culture then.

Damn, 2:30am. It's no wonder I'm always tired until the weekend comes around. There's just so much to DO though (fun or not). Funny how time is all we have, yet there never seems to be enough of it. I have another Giancoli chapter to proof too; this one's on particle physics. My favorite. I can already feel my brain starting to hurt from the expansion. Ha. :)

Pictures of California coming as soon as I have time to download them from the camera. I took lots of video too, but I haven't even made time to compile the video from Texas in November yet. :sigh: More time! I need more hours!